Alvarez and Aguirre Present Themselves to Ocean Beach at Town Council Candidate Forum

by on October 24, 2013 · 11 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

OBTC Meet 10-23-13 MayFor Alv Aud

David Alvarez addressing audience at OB Town Council meeting. (All photos by Frank Gormlie)

Faulconer and Fletcher Both No-Shows at Mayoral Debate

In front of a full audience, the Ocean Beach Town Council held their mayoral election forum last night, Oct. 23rd, at the Masonic Center.  Newly-elected president Gretchen Newsom led her first public council meeting and welcomed candidates David Alvarez and Mike Aguirre.  Nathan Fletcher sent a representative – whereas no one from Faulconer’s campaign showed.

OBTC Meet 10-23-13 MayFor Alvarez

Candidate Alvarez

Sixty people filled up the meeting room on the bottom floor of the two-story building on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard – some had come to hear a presentation on San Diego banning plastic bags.

Newsom cleaned the agenda and got to the forum part of the night, using her favorite expression, “without further a due”.

David Alvarez – a native San Diegan and current City Councilmember –  took the floor and explained his modest beginnings. He got into politics as a community activist for his neighborhood and, stressing that his campaign and office would focus on the neighborhoods of the city, Alvarez said,”San Diego is a neighborhood city.”

OBTC Meet 10-23-13 MayFor Agu

Mike Aguirre explained his positions.

Audience members were allowed to ask questions, and in response to one about any ordinance on food trucks, Alvarez stated that the rules regarding those commercial ventures on wheels “keep changing”, but he gave a worthy summation of each side of the debate.  On the issue of public money for a new Charger stadium, Alvarez was emphatic that he does not want to see tax monies for a stadium.

On medical marijuana dispensaries, Alvarez tried to explain his position. He had voted against the ordinance “because,” he said, “it was not allowing for an equal distribution of dispensaries, ” and now advocates a more balanced spreading out of the medicinal storefronts.

On Ocean Beach, Alvarez said he wants to “maintain the culture and identity of the community,” and that planning has to be careful to ensure those goals. He added that OB’s old infrastructure needs to be updated.

After a round of applause for his opponent, Mike Aguirre – former City Attorney for San Diego – rose and described some of his positions.  His primary emphasis during the forum was to rail against public pensions. “We don’t have enough money,” he said, “to pay for everything we need.” His example was the City pays $275 Million in pensions but only $236 Million on the entire San Diego Fire Department – in 2011.

OBTC Meet 10-23-13 MayFor Bd

OBTC Board

Aguirre also decried the small amounts of funds, he said, spent on roads.  He said “our roads need $160 million, but the City council voted on a budget that only has between $20 and $50 million” on roads.

Yet his main focus was to criticize “those who get $300,000 in pensions,” without really explaining who they were exactly and how many of them there were.  He said, “every firefighter has to get a 401(k)”.

Turning briefly to his past, Aguirre said that he was the attorney for farm-worker organizer Cezar Chavez and that he “helped save their union.”  And he reminded the audience, during questioning,  that he was City Attorney who sued the city over the ticket guarantee, and spoke out against “corporate welfare”.

Under more questioning about his “anti-city worker union” stance, Aguirre denied that he was, and continued his diatribe against those “huge” pensions, mentioning that city council members have a pension from the city after only 4 years and the notorious DROP program that allows city employees to “buy-out” their pensions.

As Aguirre started to either sit down or leave, a group of firefighters from OB’s station – a number always show at these town council meetings – began filing out of the room via a side door, and as they were leaving, one swore almost under his breath that he couldn’t stand the “noxious air” in the room, referring directly to Mr. Aguirre.

As Kevin Faulconer and Kevin Fletcher failed to show, the Town Council did allow representatives to give brief talks – but only Fletcher sent anyone (and I didn’t get her name).  Fletcher’s rep did tick off a long list of endorsements – including those of many separate unions, that of Gov. Brown, of Congressmen Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, of Marty Block, Lorena Gonzalez, the League of Conservation Voters . Then, someone in the audience said out-loud “but not the Democratic Party” – which is true as the body has come out in favor of Alvarez.

This ended the mayoral forum for the evening, and the town council switched over to the remainder of their agenda – which will be covered in a subsequent post.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

want2surf October 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Does anyone know how Kevin Faulconer, Ocean Beach’s City Council representative, explain his failure to show up or even send a representative?


Debbie October 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Just a guess…..he did not show up because there are probably little campaign contributions coming from 92107. Now…if it was 92106, I bet “they” would be there!

Kudos to Aguirre and Alvarez for caring enough about OB to show up. Hopefully OB takes notice and does vote for the absent ones.

Too bad the OBTC did not get the word out about this meeting with advance notice. One good reason they should allow free membership to this group so that the community can and will participate.


Aurora October 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Denny Knox published an opinion piece on the Voice of San Diego about how “wonderful” Kevin Faulconer has been for Ocean Beach.

And, unfortunately, the comments so far seem to refute Ocean Beach, not the disaster that has been Kevin Faulconer’s representation.


obracer October 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Faulconer has not represented the RESIDENTS of O.B. the entire time he has been our councilman.
He has been the typical politician, worthless trash !
Without a REAL chance to be mayor he will soon disappear from the public eye, finally.
Nobody in San Diego likes the dirt bag, ask around.
Why would he show up where he is not welcome ?


obecean October 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Best thing to do then is to get everyone we know in OB to register to vote and to vote in a candidate who does give does care about OB!


Old Hermit Dave October 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

All that BUM Falconer ever did was help make sure we can’t ever walk the beach with a cold beer ever again.


Kathleen Blavatt October 25, 2013 at 5:41 am

I appreciated both David Alverez and Mike Aguirre being at the OB Town Council Meeting. David seems caring and community orientated. Mike, a former O.B. resident, did speak about his love for O.B. at the forum. His passionate for the pension debt problems took over the towards the last part of the forum. It’s a big subject, and Mike did remind us that Golding and Murphy created a lot of this problem that has created havoc with our budget.
Unfortunately, many of the good things Mike has done in office and private practice, were not covered in the forum. Friends from several communities around San Diego reminded me how Mike as City Attorney helped empower neighborhoods and strengthen community planning boards when other powers that be were trying to get rid of them. Remember when the corporation running the Deanza Cove property was horribly harassing residents? Mike stepped in and stopped it.
Of the four candidates, Mike was the only one that opposed the pay parking garage and bridge off-ramp through Balboa Park. In office, he kept valet parking from taking over one of the main Balboa Park public parking lots.
In Mike’s law practice he’s fought San Onofre Power Plant, and the big banks/mortgage lenders on predatory lending abuses.
So, please don’t count Mike out. He does have a good track record of helping the citizens.
We are lucky to have these two candidates that really do care about communities


Frank Gormlie October 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

Don Bauder over at The Reader thinks Mike Aguirre is right –


OB Dude October 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I just cleaned out my mailbox…..I never saw so many flyers! Sinful and a waste of paper. Did not read a word printed.


Charles October 30, 2013 at 2:18 am

If you want to stop the mailings, vote by mail in as soon as the ballot arrives in you box. The mailings will stop immediately. I voted two weeks ago.


kathy October 25, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Aguirre may be the “underdog”, but Faulconer and Fletcher showed their true colors. Keeping it real, we’re the “underdog” beach community . . . stoners, hippies and anti-establishment, OH MY!

Show your true colors fellow OBceans, and vote for Mike Aguirre. He’s unpretentious, outspoken, and unimpressed by wealth, just like us.


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